In the 2016 presidential election, roughly 43% of all eligible U.S. voters didn’t cast their ballot. (That’s about 100 million people!!) There are so many theories on why this happened (long lines, polling during work hours, policies designed to discourage large minority groups, etc), but we think there’s a larger issue at hand.
We as American citizens don’t feel empowered to cast our votes when it feels as if our voices don’t matter. Society is so quick to point the finger at each other and blame whole generations not caring enough when in reality we are just afraid of not knowing enough to give more than an opinion and assume others “more qualified” will figure it out.
But, we are now collectively seeing that nobody is going to “figure it out” for us. We must do it. We must come together and turn our voices into action.
Non-voters don’t show up for their country because they feel that their country has not shown up for them. But what if it was the other way around?
What if our country doesn’t feel reflective of us, because we don’t bother to inject “us” into our country?
This year, we can all agree that the energy around the election is different. There is a fire burning inside our hearts and a virus raging outside of our homes.
At Gallardo Labs, one of the questions we found ourselves asking is – how can we turn our internal fire into something that serves the greater good in this time of need? We worried that if 100 million people didn’t vote safely in 2016, how many more millions won’t vote because they fear for their life in 2020?
And in this case, while we were virtually huddled as a team, discussing our collective heartache and overwhelm, we had an epiphany. If people can vote safely from home, why is it not publicized and why does the process have to be so ridiculously complicated?
Creative problem-solving is our superpower.
What if we transformed our fears into action? What if we helped save our democracy and our lives, both figuratively and literally? What if we refused the status quo and solved a real problem by stripping away all of the confusion around how to vote-by-mail?
So after literally scouring every single city, county, and state’s local election offices to understand their individual rules (4,013 to be exact), that’s what we did.
PracticeSafeVoting.org provides registered voters with a no-nonsense tool that walks them through voting safely from home during this pandemic. It’s supported by a light-hearted campaign that brings serious awareness to every American’s right to vote-by-mail. The social artwork aims to connect young people to their power – the power to vote and shape the world we live in.
We wanted to reach the people that no one else was reaching and give them the right tools to take action. So we used what no one else in this space was using.
Sex and simplicity.
We know this campaign and tool can be controversial given the political climate, but frankly, we don’t care. In our eyes, the more people that we can get to vote, and the less lives lost during this pandemic, the better. How can anyone argue with that?
Underneath the seemingly great division we are seeing today, we believe that with leaders who truly represent us – as in ALL of us – it is possible to come together as one country united, that appreciates, understands, and respects each individual equally within. Statistically speaking, we will never know who is truly the best fit for our nation until every eligible voter of our nation steps it up.
It’s time to step it up.
Visit practicesafevoting.org and learn how to vote-by-mail today. No lines. No masks. (And no clothes either, if that’s your thing).
The humans that made this happen:
Adalberto Gallardo, Nicole Gallardo, Lore Zeledon, Daniel Gonzalez, Nura Othman, Sonia Acosta, and Carolina Muñoz